Barurch, when we maintain that Spinoza’s life is especially relevant in these trying times, this is not what we had in mind:
David Grossack, an attorney representing an elderly couple whose home is being foreclosed on, argued in a letter to a Boston rabbinical court, or beit din, that his opposing counsel, Jewish lawyers who represent the Federal National Mortgage Association, have defied Jewish law and therefore should be excommunicated. To be specific, Grossack is seeks for them to be put in what’s known as cherem, or full exclusion from the Jewish community. This legal feature in Halacha, or Jewish law, was famously applied to philosopher Baruch Spinoza in the 17th century but has been used very rarely in modern times.
If this legal practice were to gain currency, perhaps we can hope for more lawyers converting to a life of introspective philosophising. Or is that wishful thinking?